tv U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Summit 2018 Midterm Elections CSPAN June 25, 2018 2:43pm-3:17pm EDT
outside of our nonrenewable resources. and really primarily because we need to stabilize education across the state. our educators need to feel that their funding which is a constitutional duty here in alaska is stable. so that they can stabilize the schools and most important i think for all of us is to education our students and the best way to do that is a stable school. >> be sure to join us july 21 and 22 when we feature our visit to alaska. watch alaska weekend on c-span, c-span.org and listen on the free c-span radio app. >> up next we hear from former governor and presidential candidates howard dean and chris isaak tee as they look ahead to the mid term elections. npr's rachel martin hosted this discussion at the u.s. global
leadership coalition annual summit here in washington. rachel: thank you for having us. it was not lost on me sitting in the green room just now that here we are. two former governors from the northeast, two former presidential candidates. not very much personality in hese two guys. nice girl from public radio on the -- in the middle going to try to moderate this situation. the subtitle to this is, i'm paraphrasing, looking forward to the mid term elections, red, blue, and purple which to me is like a bruise. so we're going to attempt to unpack some issues, talk a little politics, try to bridge the gaping hart san divide.
-- partisan divide. let's try. we'll try to leave time for questions at the end. i just got back from singapore for the summit between president trump and north korean's -- north korea's leader, kim jong un. "the daily beast" did a poll with a shocking result. according to the republicans that they polled, those republicans now have a more favorable view of kim jong un than of nancy pelosi. this is the that moment that we are in. it is not an exaggeration to say we live in polarizing times.
that says more about america right now than about kim jong un and his opening to the world. nevertheless, governor christie, governor dean, thank you for being here. we are more than halfway through the 2018 primary season. there is, i think, it's fair to say, noren line than usual. an unusually high number of he tirmentes in congress. especially on the g.o.p. side. democrats clearly have a chance to take control of the house. mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer say the senator is in play too. to the extent that elections nearer the moment -- mirror the moment in a society, i'll ask each of you, what are these mid terms about? what do they represent for where we are as a country? governor christie? chris: the country elected a disruptor and the most unusual political act in my lifetime to be president.
and so i think conventional analysis of what will happen in the mid terms probably falls short. we won't know in what way it falls short until it actually happens but it will fall short of any type of normal predictive model. because the one thing i think that both republicans and democrats could probably oy agree on is that a majority of the people in the united states are disgusting with this town. now, there's disgust from totally at times different places, sometimes the same place. but they're not happy with washington, d.c. and so i think that's a reflection of why you see so many retirements. a lot of people get that sense, they go back to their districtism can tell you in my particular district which should normally be one of the safest republican districts in a state ke new jersey that had congressman rodney frelinghuysen rep represent -- representing it
since 1994, so for the past 1920 years nearly, his father represented the district for nearly 30 years before that in fact, except far brief period of time in the late 1980's, early 1990's, there's been free like his -- frelinghuysen in congress since the continental congress. this is a family of public service in new jersey he -- he's chairman of the appropriations committee in the house. and he chose to retire. and in large part, part of it was the sense he got back from his district of how upset people were on both sides of the aisle about what goes on in this town on a regular basis. i think that that's the way we need to see the election, the real, continued anger in the electorate about what happens in washington, d.c. rachel: governor dean? howard: i'll be more direct. i was wrong. 51 weeks out of 52. that gives you a battling average of .020, not enough for
any league, major, minor, or anything else. so predicting is something i've learned probably i shouldn't do. i do think most mid terms are a referendum on the president, whether you like it or not. people think it's always about local issues, and occasionally it is. president obama lost 63 seats in 2010. that was really a referendum on the number of things that had happened, the republicans skillfully talked about and it was a terrible election for the democrats. this election is going to be a referendum on president trump. and i think in places like new jersey and the northeast he's not going to do well. we'll find out what happens in the heartland where he's more popular. he is a disruptor and we'll get into what that means in a bit, but i think it's -- i actually think if the democrats win the house back, which i think they will, and the senate, which i think will be incredibly close
and difficult, it will be because of young people. s the most energized this generation this generation has ever been. this is the generation that elected barack obama, the only election in my lifetime , in 2008, where more people under 35 voted than over 65. the only one, even 2012. young people going to the polls were slalled -- enthralled with obama because they saw him as they saw themselves. multicultural, modern. cerebral. he got them they got him. they are vincennes -- incensed. they didn't vote in the mid terms, one reason they got creamed in obama's terms, but it was shocking to be on campus, i'll tell you a quick story about this, i teach at a couple of places, one of which is yale. yale, foreign policy school is very close to west point for a variety of reasons. so i'm doing grief cunling, as happened in places. the republicans made fun of it but it was a moment of terrible
grief for this generation because trump is a repudiation of every value this generation thinks is important. these kids are upset. i see a professor sitting, just got back from west point i said, jim, what did they say at west point? you just got back he said i'm convinced that the cadet corps had voted only hillary clinton would have been re-elected in a landslide. to somebody in my generation that's shocking because there was a huge divide between the military and young people. of course these young people who are in the military are going to be globalists, hillary is a globalist and trump isn't. i said what did they say? as our kids are weep, wailing and nashing our teeth -- nashing their teeth. he said, this is what they said. sir, we're used to getting bad news, sir. when we get bad news we do something about it, sir. i looked a that the eyale kids
and said, get it shut up and stop whining. rachel: let me pick on something you said, governor christie. this will be a referendum on 39 trump but you're suggesting it's a referendum on washington writ large. president trump has been in office now for a year and a half. to what degree does he own the dysfunction? chris: if you asked him he'd say not at all. he'd say i hated this place when i got here, i still hate it. when i leave i'm going to hate it. that's why i think this is different. i think that howard is right. i think that almost every time the mid term selection on the president. it may turn out, given that we have around the same batting average on predictions, howard said he wasn't going to predict but then he did predict the house will win the house, he slid in that back door prediction. but i think that the reason this has a chance to be different is
because the president seems to have at least at the moment have the ability by attacking a lot of institutions of this town to live here for the last almost 18 months now but to not seem of here. and to not completely own everything that's happening. now i think we both know that having been involved in a number of elections in our lives, both winning and losing, that we're sitting here in mid june and our ability to really know what people will be thinking about and caring about come the first week of november is minimal. but, i think what the president will attempt to do is to say, when people say gee, things are really awful in washington, he'll say, see, i told you. i told you how bad it was. don't make it worse. give me the people that i need so that i can straighten it out. i'm almost ignoring the fact that he's had legislative majorities for -- since he got here. he has the ability to do that. and believe me, i ran against
him. i understand his ability to be able to say something and really believe it even if there are some facts that seem to be contrary. [laughter] to exactly what he's say, right? i think that's why this is -- this has the chance to be different and not necessarily be a pure referendum on the president. made a , since howard back door prediction, i'll make a front door prediction. if it's a referendum on the president new york president in my lifetime other than george w. bush in 2002 gained seats in the house in the mid term. so typically, incoming president and his party will lose seats if it's purely a referendum on him and 9/11 was that unusual moment in our nation's history where the country was still really very much together in november of 2002 and wanted to show support to a president who they thought was providing great leadership. but if it does turn out the way
i suspect it might which is that trump will still be running against washington and make washington the issue rather than trump the issue, then you could have a much more mixed result, which still might wind up with a democratic majority but a slim one or a slim republican majority. rachel: i do want to spend more time talking about president trump and his role in the elections, but i'm a news girl and so i want to talk a little bit about a couple of issues. that while you rightly point out we don't know what people will be motivated by in november, we know what they're motivated by right now in large part at least today and so i do want to bring up a couple of things. first, immigration. we know story, we've seen the picture well, know what's happening at the border. this is something democrats are ikely to seize on in the fall. to talk about the republicans'
inability to push through immigration reform. the president meanwhile has said this is about convincing democrats to come to the table, give him what he wants in a broader immigration bill. to governor christie is this policy the trump administration's zero tolerance policy that has resulted in family accept separations, is that going to be difficult for republican candidates to defend? chris: i think you see a bunch who won't defend it. it's one of those rare times in this administration so far where you've seen a number of republicans on television say, not for me. and actually seem, some members of the administration showing similar re-- some reluctance bout this. i don't believe that using this in any way politically is appropriate. and i think that what we need to do is solve the problem.
rachel: you think this is a mistake on the president's part to get leverage? chris: if that's what he's doing? rachel: he said it is. chris: i don't think he said it -- rachel: he said it explicitly. chris: he said he wants a complete immigration bill and without a complete immigration bill he's going to enforce the law as it's written and he's correct that the law as written now if enforced toits fullest permits what's happening there. but let's put that aside because here year to -- we're here to talk about politics and politics is about perception and this is not a good perception for the republican party, it's just not. what i i would say to the president is, whatever, if in fact he's doing it purely for the leverage piece, i would say to him, it's not worth it. it's not worth it. because the damage that you're incurring because of these images, you know, is drowning out whatever other message you want to try to get across on the
need for greater immigration reform and his push for other laws that would also, by the way, include protections for dreamers and the rest he talked about being willing to do that if he gets certain things in return. i think the one risk for democrats in all this too is to overplay it. and this is always the risk of the minority party. we saw it in the myth 1990's with the contract for america, republicans came in, they had president clinton in their sights because of the monica lewinsky situation they overplayed their hand, overplayed impeachment and drove bill clinton back up to the 1960's. if you overplay this on things they are emotional about, if the public feels you overplay, and that's why i say you shouldn't -- why it shouldn't be used for politics by either side. if you overplay it and are seen as being political for your own
advantage, people will boomerang it back on you. if i were a member of congress right now i'd say, whatever we're doing down there, it's not worth it. rachel: how do democrats address immigration? howard: we have a -- i have a slightly different take than chris on this one in this sense. i think he's right but i think it's a complicated problem for trump and the electorate. trump's base does not like immigration to put it kindly. when you think about the things trump said about mexicans and so forth and so on. first of all it's driven the percentage of the latino vote for democrats through the ceiling. but the base is interestingly, i think, somewhat divided on this. i think women voters, i haven't seen polling on this, i'm i'm sure there'll be some. i think women in particular, often many of them have been mothers, see this business as a separation of the kids and all
that in a different way than men do in trump's base and we already see that women are tending toward not voting for trump that may have voted for him the last time. saw an interesting poll, i think it was through pew, i can't remember, where males without college degrees were 68-24 for trump. everybody else was 65-35 for anybody but trump. it was really extraordinary. so that's the real danger here. i mean, trump's base loves trump because he beats up on immigration. but this is a wedge issue, this business of separation of kids. soon as he gets this off his plate, i don't think this business of blaming the democrats is going to work. a lot of times when he does things like that it does work. i don't think this is going to work. this is really he's playing with dynamite. he's playing with a core american value that i think most americans share even
though they are on the republican and democratic divide. rachel: he has, i think both of you agree, they knew who they were voting for. they knew what he had talked about. he was going to take a hard line on immigration. he's also been remarkably consistent on his perceptions f trade. and that is something that has also separated him from a lot of the mainstream republicans' orthodoxy. now we have not just tariffs on china but we have tariffs on canada. we have tariffs on europe. america's closest allies. do you think this is something that animates voters? governor christie: no, maybe in iowa. i'm sure it will animate the ag community in iowa pretty significantly. this is something he needs to keep an eye on and you have a gubernatorial election in iowa. and some real serious ag issues. i think the ag community, i don't think it animates voters and i think the president makes
an argument -- i heard people say over time about president trump that he has no core principles or values. and they're wrong in this respect. hes been talking about this since the late 1980's. it's one of the things he was most consistent about. first it was japan and then it was germany and then it was china. whoever was ascendant at that time economically and who we had a trade deficit with, he always talked about doing this kind of thing. i think it's very apt the way you preface the question. we knew who we were voting for here. he was clear about this even though he's changed his position on abortion over the course of time. he's changed his position on guns over the course of time. where people might want to believe what they hear rather than whatever the current position is today. this one's been really consistent. it is contrary to typical republican orthodoxy but i always remind people about in about donald trump. i've known him for 16 years. been friends with him for 16
years. his context is everything is a negotiation. everything. what you're having for dinner is a negotiation. what restaurant you go to is a negotiation. rachel: sounds exhausting. governor christie: it's funny. the first time in 2003 that mary pat and i went out to dinner with donald and melania, then his girlfriend, not his wife, and we got in the car after we left dinner. we had been at dinner two hours. she got in the car and she said, my god, i'm exhausted. [laughter] sed that exact word. going back. going back before he was presidential candidate, i was u.s. attorney and he was a business man in new york and new jersey, sometimes being with him can be exhausting and i think that the issue here, though, this president, everything is a negotiation and in context what he's done his whole life which he believes negotiations can be
as rough and angry and difficult as he wants to make them but in the end the person on the other side of the table wants a deal, he wants a deal and all's forgiven if we get a deal. now, i don't know if that same context will work in all the different global issues he's confronting but that's his context as a real estate developer in a pretty tough place in new york city. and i think he thinks that very same way about each one of these problems we're talking about. when he's talking about leverage and negotiation, he believes the maximum leverage, get yourself in a position to negotiate, settle for something less that you said you were willing to take. rachel: governor christie brought up the idea democrats overplaying their hand in the fall and he mentioned the idea of impeachment. his is something that is talked about in certain democratic circles right now. could you weigh in on whether or not you think that is something that democratic
candidates should be talking about? governor dean: i don't think anybody should be talking about it on the basis of criminal violations until we have some evidence and we're not going to have any evidence until bob mueller's report is public. you know, from a legal point of view, i think you can say whatever you want because you're mad at trump and democrats are absolutely furious with trump. if you want to make a case for impeaching him because he's incompetent, be my guest. that didn't work out so well for the republicans when they impeached bill clinton. the public just didn't think he had done something that was -- rose to the level of removing a president of the united states which actually has never been done except by republicans during watergate when they went to tell dick nixon if he didn't resign he was going to be impeached. so my own view is, until you have a case for impeachment you can't talk about impeachment just because you can't stand somebody. i think we should stick to the issues. [applause]
governor christie: i want to know who the people are that were applauding. howard, i don't think you will be allowed to be back on msnbc. governor dean: i said that on msnbc. impeachment is the atom omb. he founding fathers, and i can't stand that phrase in the age of equality -- but they basically set up the constitution for somebody like trump who will come in and run over everybody and do whatever he could outside the institution. now we're going to find out if the institutions were strong enough. impeachment is the atom bomb of impeachments -- removal. you do not do it until you have an absolute hardline case that convinces the majority of the american people which the congress and special prosecutor did in the case of richard nixon. so much so his own party went to give him the bad news. i think everybody on my side of the aisle has very strong
feelings about donald trump, as do i. that does not -- that's not the same as grounds for impeachment. that is a legal argument even though it's often used politically. rachel: even james comey, who had a pretty bone to pick about with donald trump, has tried to tamp down. governor christie: too bad we couldn't impeach james comey when we could have. [applause] [laughter] governor dean: canry tell a story? rachel: yeah. governor dean: i don't normally get an a-ha moment. three weeks before thei was doing an interview with a election, guy that i disagree with, rick santorum, in toronto and we were pontificating what would happen three weeks from now and santorum said something, the minute he said it i knew it was true. these are the two most unpopular candidates that's run against each other. whoever we're talking about
last is going to lose. at the time we were talking about whatever it was, tape about the grabbing and all that stuff. and i thought, probably right. then comey switched the conversation back to the emails. so -- governor christie: it's funny that rick said that because it's the exact same thing i was saying to the candidate at the time. like, listen -- rachel: you were telling the candidate governor christie: normally in the election, whoever they talk about on election day is the winner. in this one, whoever they're talking about is going to lose. you could see that from the numbers. he numbers -- you know, when the access tape came out, i thought at the time, there are a number of people who were suggesting that donald trump drop out. and i remember thinking at the time, that might be why -- he's running against someone who is, in my view at the time, the
most unpopular national candidate who got her party's nomination in my lifetime. and so the whole election was turned upside down. i will say one thing about comey since it came up, because i worked with him. i was u.s. attorney in new jersey. jim was u.s. attorney in manhattan. i worked for him when he was deputy attorney general. i will tell you the scene that happened in 2016 was so patently unfair to hillary clinton, first. and secondly, has brought incredible discredit onto the department of justice. as someone who spent seven of my career there and love that department. i owe my career to the place and our country owes a great debt to the men and women who work there. to have jim comey and i think michael horowitz put it right, insubordinate. to have an f.b.i. director he knows better than the rule and the law and he would assert himself. i have been saying this for months.
when the i.g. report would come out it will be bad for jim. and all this higher loyalty stuff and the book. what we used to call him when he was -- u.s. attorney -- we used to call him st. jim. the reason we called him st. jim wasn't because we thought he was st. jim. it was because he thought he was st. jim. [laughter] governor christie: on a personal level, i really like the guy and i love his wife. and they have a wonderful family. but he got the potomac fever. one of the worst cases i've ever seen. and started to believe his own baloney. when it happens in this town you are on the way to ruin. it took longer than i suspected it might. but it's really sad and i think t's allowed the president to say some really unfortunate things about the department of justice which has really hurt my feelings.
but when you look at it, he's been given some basis to say some of it. i was watching a hearing before we came down here today with the new f.b.i. director there. and what a refreshing change. because this is a guy you have to literally drag in front of a television camera to get him there. hris wray has to be dragged in front of the camera. he knows what his job is which is to rebuild that organization so that americans of both stripes and independents have confidence once again in the rank and file in the f.b.i. and the reason we should is because the men and women who work in the f.b.i. in my experience deserve it. they really deserve it. [applause] rachel: so we know who leads the republican party ahead of these mid terms. the president of the united states who sits in the oval office. governor dean, who, now that hillary clinton has been sidelined to a degree, who leads the democrats in this moment? governor dean: it's always the problem for the party out of power. the face of the democratic party is not donald trump. that's the way it -- rachel: is that enough to not be donald trump?
governor dean: everyone says, we have to stick to issues. it's true. the standidate and the one that will win will not be running around the district talking about donald trump. you don't need to talk about donald trump. the newspapers will do plenty of that. nobody's going to erase the impression they have of donald trump. that's not going to change under any circumstances. so, of course, we need to be out there talking about what we're going to do because you have to present a positive vision. you can't just be not donald trump. but that is the message of every party that's out of favor. that was the message of the republicans in 2010. that was the message of the -- that is always the message of the out party because there is no leader of the out party. there's -- the chairman of the d.n.c. isn't. chuck schumer isn't. nancy pelosi isn't. there's a coalition of people who could work together. this is a particularly strange election because the democratic party, everybody knows the republican party is undergoing huge strains and difficulties
and rebuilding and whatever. the democratic party is doing the same thing simply because the real juice in the democratic party has nothing to do with what's going on in washington at all. it's all a bunch of 35's and youngers knocking on doors. run for something has 15,000 candidates running. all the things we should be doing for years for school boards and county commissioners and not just congresspeople. that's how you rebuild the party. that's being done by people who are not democrats. rachel: many of those people animated by bernie sanders, many of those people will say to you, donald trump won by not catering to the middle. democrats have done that for too long and we need to double down on the -- governor dean: that's what inside the beltway people don't care. he had voted for hillary after they got done with bernie. look, these kids are on social issues they are with the democrats. they will vote with the democrats probably for the rest of their lives. they care deeply about
diversity. they like immigration. climate change is the most important issue they can possibly think of. gay rights, civil rights issue of their time. they will vote for us. they are not democrats because they don't like institutions, they don't trust institutions. interestingly, the republicans could have had them because they're libertarian economically. when they take over congress, which they will do, sooner rather than later, you will actually see some of the things in the traditional republican platform happen. you are going to see a shrinking of government programs, more outsourcing to nonprofits, things of that sort. i think you're going to see a reduction of government in general. it's not like they're hard line -- libertarians. they just don't like institutions very much. they think they're big and clunky and they want similar flexibility and some ways affecting things. look, these kids have grown up. a single person can go online and get 600,000 people make the
bank of america not charge for a debit card which they tried to do or make verizon not charge to pay your bill online which they fixed it. make pence rescind the anti-gay bill that he had in iowa by getting all the companies that they do business with to say -- idaho -- indiana -- i knew it began with an i. [laughter] rachel: as an idahoan i will not try to take offense. governor dean: and they had to rescind the law. they were afraid the millennials would not give them business. this is an incredibly powerful country -- generation. [applause] rachel: i am going to cut you off. governor dean: they are changing the democratic party and sometimes the democratic party in washington they probably have no idea. rachel: we have to agree, washington has no clue. that's the bottom line. that's the common bridge. i want to let the audience ask some questions if you got any. i think we have a couple of mics in the room. i think you have to physically make your way to one of them. we'll start over here. >> from wisconsin.
i have a couple of heartland wisconsin-related questions. there is a group, i am thinking particularly with organized labor that went with trump in this past election. was that an anomaly? are some of the views shifted? >> we'll leave this conversation here as the u.s. house is back. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] will resume proceedings on postponed questions at a later time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5783, the cooperation with law enforcement agencies and watch act of 2018, and amessed. -- amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5783, a bill